On 29 January 2020 a facebook post was shared by the account ለንቂጥ ዳዕሮዒራ ዘብሔረ አክሱም ሀገረ ትግራይ (a personal blog with  3,569 followers) sharing the image below with the claim that the TPLF-led forces are defeating during the ongoing armed conflict. The text which is written in Amharic reads “…. the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies opened an attack which they called a final offensive from the direction of Shire, Wukro Maray, Tenben, and Fiyelwiha and they themselves are being defeated.” However, HaqCheck interrogated the case and confirmed that the picture doesn’t show the TPLF-led forces are defeating the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies, and rated it FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.

Since 4 November 2020 there has been armed fighting between the TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. The federal government has controlled the regional capital city, Mekelle on 28 November 2020. It has also recently announced that it was rapidly capturing senior civil and military officers of the TPLF. Some of the senior civil and military leaders of the TPLF-led force have also been arrested. But instabilities remain in the region during the post-conflict period. There have also been allegations of Eritrean army involvement in the war.

It is in this context that the post was shared by the user that the TPLF-led Tigray forces are triumphing over the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies in central Tigray. However a reverse image search of the picture used in the post doesn’t prove the claim. The image was first published on Facebook on March 02, 2020 by a user named Codka Shacabka with information related to armed clashes between the Somali Federal Army and Jubaland Regional Army in Beled Hawo, a town which borders Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. However, it didn’t state to which party does the image belong to. The original post can be accessed with the following link.

Granted, there are unproven reports of battles continuing in remote parts of Tigray and former TPLF leaders are indeed being captured at the time the facebook post was shared. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show the TPLF-led armed forces are defeating Eritrean and Ethiopian armies and therefore rated it as FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image.

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

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